Whether your quarterback is hurt, on bye this week or simply hasn’t been playing well, there are plenty of reasons why owners may be turning to the free agent pool for their Week 12 starter. Below are the three guys who are available in at least 50 percent of fantasy leagues that I believe can help owners in Week 12.
3) Case Keenum, Houston Texans
Keenum was benched last week against the Oakland Raiders in the third quarter for Matt Schaub, but Gary Kubiak came out on Tuesday and declared Keenum his starter for Week 12. Despite having an 8-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio through his first four career games, I’m still not a believer in the Texans’ young quarterback. The numbers lie a little bit when it comes to Keenum and if you’ve had an opportunity to watch his games, then you know there have been plenty of times where he has gotten away with some typically disastrous mistakes (his first pass attempt against the Arizona Cardinals is the first play that pops in my head; the defender dropped what should have been a very easy pick-six).
I get that the Texans are playing the Jacksonville Jaguars this week, but they have had some pretty good games against great quarterbacks this year — they held both Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers to 15 or fewer fantasy points — and Keenum is making his fifth career start and he’s coming off of a game in which he was benched. If you need a quarterback this weekend and Josh McCown and Mike Glennon aren’t available, then I think it’s worth the risk to roll the dice on the quarterback-facing-the-Jaguars, but don’t just assume Keenum is a safe play this weekend because of his matchup. Keenum is available in 76 percent of ESPN leagues and in 49 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
2) Josh McCown, Chicago Bears
Josh McCown has been excellent in relief for Jay Cutler; he is yet to throw an interception and he’s averaged over 15 fantasy points per game in three starts this season. McCown has elite offensive weapons surrounding him and that is one of the biggest reasons why I think he’s a safe start and an excellent fill-in option. Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall are both elite receivers who are capable of filling up their quarterback’s box score; both guys are excellent at making spectacular plays downfield and they’re both also very capable of turning short completions into long gains.
McCown also has one of the most reliable safety valves in Matt Forte, and Martellus Bennet keeps defenses honest in the middle of the field. McCown is a very viable fill-in quarterback for Week 12, but the one thing that makes me nervous is that the St. Louis Rams have an excellent pass rush and the Bears have not done a good job in pass protection this year. McCown’s least productive start came last week against the Baltimore Ravens and they’re the one team he has faced who pressures the quarterback as effectively as the Rams do. McCown is available in 96 percent of ESPN leagues and in 82 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
1) Mike Glennon, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I’ve been really impressed with what I have seen from Glennon through his first seven NFL starts; the rookie quarterback looked great last week, completing 20-of-23 passes for 231 yards and two touchdowns as the Bucs took care of the Atlanta Falcons. Glennon has a big arm and he has shown that he can be an accurate passer when throwing downfield; he has a 45.8 accuracy percentage (takes into account drops) which is seventh in the NFL in downfield attempts. The Detroit Lions have given up 16 fantasy points or more to opposing quarterbacks now in five-straight games and Glennon has scored at least 15 fantasy points in five out of his last six. Glennon is available in 97 percent of ESPN leagues and in 85 percent of Yahoo! leagues, and he is your No. 1 quarterback available in over 50 percent of leagues for Week 12.